While studying my MBA I remembered this story about a man called Shep Hyken, and his experience with a taxi driver. He tells it much better, and I would honestly recommend you search for the full story on you tube, but basically he tells a story about this trip he took in a taxi. It was a hot day, he had just finished up a talk. He met with a taxi driver who offered to put his bags in the boot. When he climbed in the car was cool, there were newspapers in the seat and refreshments. The driver told him to help himself and sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. He then asked if he had heard of a landmark and that he could take him past there? He was intrigued and they drove past on the way to the airport. Once they had finished the trip he gave him a card with his details, and told him that if he was ever back in the area he should let him know.
I shortened that, but what struck me is how many lessons you can learn from the taxi driver:
1. Create a Good First Impression
Often we are so close to the products and services we sell; we lose sight of the problem they solve. By stripping this back to the core, you can focus on your client’s pain points & how to best serve them. This allows you to create a good first impression, by addressing all of your clients needs.
For example: as a wedding photographer, you may think that your client need’s wedding photos. But what they really need, is someone to capture their memories, create heirlooms (to share with their future children) and not make them look awkward and uncomfortable in front of the camera.
2. Delight Them at the Peak of their Purchase
A mistake that many small business owners make, is abandoning their clients at the peak of their excitement. If you are a Photographer, A Coach or Graphic Designer – it may take months for your client to receive their final product. So it’s important that you show appreciation at this point.
We suggest sending a welcome pack, which will thank you clients for choosing you, and outline what they can expect from this point, what journey you will be taking together and what is expected of them.
Go the extra mile by giving them something unexpected
- give them tips on how to get the best result from your service or product
- think of things they may be struggling with – what made them want to work with you? Are there small ways you could ease their anxiety, or offer them additional advice?
For Example – a photographer could offer tips on how to dress for a shoot, how to choose an outfit that will make them feel beautiful and chose colours that will complement their home (after all they should hopefully be printing out their images, and hanging them throughout their home).
3. Have a Clear Process/Workflow
There are so many client management systems that can help you build strong (and consistent) relationships with your clients. Not only will this help you with your client workflow, but it will aid in giving your clients the best experience possible while working with you.
We started working with Dubsado, three months ago, and honestly, it was the best investment & decision we ever made. It helps us keep on track with our tasks, see how far each client is within our process, AND most importantly offer them a personal touch & easy client experience.
4. Amaze Them with the Final Delivery
This is the part that we get excited about! You have worked with your clients for months, maybe even a year and the time has finally come to deliver their product. This is the opportunity to leave a lasting impression.
You want to do three things:
- show gratitude: you can do this with a handwritten note, or thank you card
- create excitement & joy: present their product as you would a present, you want to wrap it with care & make it personal & an experience to open (leading to joy & excitement) We suggest using Stickers, branded ribbon, branded shipping boxes etc.
- give them something unexpected: Think about something small you can include, that the client wouldn’t expect. Just a small gesture, to show that you truly care about them and that you went the extra mile. For example, if you are a photographer, include a beautiful foiled print that they could frame. Or if you are a brand designer – perhaps you could include a small sign for their studio with their new branding.
And Here's Our Top Tip
Make sure you include all of this in your pricing – you aren’t only charging for your product or service, you are charging for the experience you can provide, and the entire process & journey you go through with your customers.
As small business owners, we can provide our clients with the best possible customer experience, which will lead to repeat sales and referrals which are like GOLD. You want to create loyal customers for life.